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Everything posted by animesh

  1. Please ignore this post. Sabrina ji, glad that I had the endurance to read through all the bickering to get to it Nothing wrong in having some bickerings among friends. Quarrel a little, don't take things to heart and be friends again. Now, let me tackle your second question. In the other thread I did not answer this question not because I felt that you were trying to attack us but because I could not find this question in your post (may be I did not read the question well -- my eyesight has become weak because of my very old age :-)) You have asked as to why women in India are not supposed to study. I do not know why but the people of other countries still think about India as it was many years ago. There is general perception that it is a sin for women to study, they should be confined within the walls of her house, girl babies are killed the moment they are born, widows have no right to live with dignity etc. etc. All of the above were true in India many years ago (so many years ago that I have not seen these happening but just read in books). I am not trying to say that, at present, these things do not happen at all. Now also, sometimes I read about such incidents. But now, these things are not encouraged in India. In fact, the opposites of these are encouraged. [This message has been edited by animesh (edited 08-15-2001).]
  2. Sabrina ji, There are many Hindus who do not generally use the word Hindu for them. There are two reasons for this. One is the origin of the term "hindu". As you might have read, the term originated from the word "Sindhu". Therefore, its meaning when it originated and its meaning at present are different. Even if we want to forget how the term originated and concentrate on its meaning at present, then also there is another reason as to why some do not call themselves as Hindus. That reason being that the word "hindu" is very generic. So, to be more specific, some call themselves as Shaivas, Vaishnavas etc. Some may like to use even more specific terms like "Gaudiya Vaishnavas". Lest you should start thinking that there are no similarities between Hindus of these different beliefs, let me say that you will see differences only if you go into details of these beliefs. Otherwise there are many-many similarities. Consider festivals. There are many festivals which are celebrated by Hindus of almost all beliefs. Of course, there are festivals which are celebrated by people of some groups but not by others. Hindus of different belief systems may consider worship different deities. But they consider other deities as also worshippable. As an example, people who belong to ISKCON may worship Lord Kishna the most. But they do consider other deities also as worshippable, if not to the same extent as Krishna. So, it is not possible to answer how one can become a Hindu. But if you want to know how one can belong to a specific group of Hindus, then the answer depends on the group. If you want to know more about Hinduism in general, I think you can start with knowing festivals celebrated by Hindus and significance of those festivals. I have one question for you: You are a female. Why is your name Sabrina King? Why not Sabrina Queen or Sabrina Princess?
  3. Jijaji, I can understand the logic behind differents ways of worship. But, don't you think that there are some ways which are very bad. As an example, now and then, I read in newspapers about human sacrifice in some village in order to please a goddess. I bet that if you talk to people who indulge in such acts, they can tell you many legends to justify what they are doing. Should such inhumane acts be allowed to continue in the name of religion? One more question: In the first post of this thread, you have mentioned about a few Puranas. Could you tell what Matsya Purana contains? Bhagwatam mentions that Matsya Purana is the teachings imparted by Lord Visnu to King Satyavrata when the former was in His fish incarnation. Are the teachings and stories in that Purana more or less the same as those in Bhagwat Purana?
  4. Sisters are really on advantage on this day. After they tie raakhis to their brothers and put some sweets in their mouth, they get gifts from them.
  5. On this day, sisters tie raakhi around the wrists of their brothers. The raakhi (a beautiful sacred thread) is supposed to do raksha (protection) of brothers. It is also assumed that the brothers have taken the vow of doing raksha (protection) of their sisters. Therefore, it is known as "raksha bandhan".
  6. 4th August is raakhi day. Could you post some interesting stories related to this festival from our scriptures? I would also appreciate any stories related to this festival from history even if they are not in our scriptures.
  7. At least, do they have feelings? Do they become happy and sad?
  8. Sometimes I wonder if the way everything has been classified under living and non-living is proper. There are many things which are too far apart but both are considered as living beings. We usually think that living beings can feel happiness and sorrow. But, I do not think modern biologists consider this as an essential criterion for something to be considered as "living". Do plants feel pain? Of course, many experiments have been done to show that they do. But, none of these experiments prove that plants can feel pain. The results could just be because of chemical reactions.
  9. WHAT?????????? Going to work on Saturdays and Sundays is something new for you? For me, it is routine. Even working late night and sometimes whole night is not uncommon.
  10. i know this is in the joke area but usually a joke has a laughing derivative. One may not burst out laughing on reading such posts, but as you can see by various responses, people do enjoy such math tricks.
  11. i'm still trying to figure out how chocolate mathematics works. If you want explanation, here it is: 1. Let x = number of times you would like to have chocolate in a week. 2. Multiple x by 2. You get 2x. 3. Add 5. You get 2x + 5. 4. Multiple by 50. You get (2x+5)*50 i.e. 100 x + 250. 5. If you have already had your birthday this year, then add 1751. You get 100 x + 2001. As you can see 2001 is the current year. If your birthday for this year is still to come, then add 1750 to the result of 4. You get 100 x + 2000. As you can see, 2000 is the previous year. 6. Subtract the 4 digit year on which you were born. You will subtract this from 100 x + 2001 if you have had your birthday this year and from 100 x + 2000 if not. If your birthday this year is already over, then 2001 minus the 4 digit year on which you were born will give you your age in no. of years ignoring months, days etc. If your birthday for this year is yet to come then you will get your age by subtracting the year in which you were born from 2000. In either case, the result is 100 x + your age. (Here your age is the no. of whole years you have completed since you were born). Atma ji has written that x should be more than 1 and less than 10. Well, it works even if it is equal to 1. So, assume x to be any number from 1 to 9. Then, 100 x is from 100 to 900. This is a three digit number. To this, you have to add your age. Assuming that you age is a two digit number, the last two digits of the final result will be your age. The first digit will be the value of x. Note: 1. This will work only in year 2001. In 2002, you will have to modify this a little bit. In step 5, just replace 1751 by 1752 and 1750 by 1751. 2. This will not work if somebody's age is 100 years or more.
  12. Will this work if somebody is born on 29th Feb.?
  13. There may be any number of reasons for diversity. One reason that often comes to my mind is our desire to have separate identity for us. If, as an individual, we are not able to leave a mark, then we want to belong to some group which is well known. Here group may include any kind of group, not necessarily religious. We want to show that our group is better than all others. We often say that the group that we follow should be followed by everyone. But when the number of followers in that group really becomes huge, then that is further broken into sub-groups. We are hesitant to adopt the good things in other groups, because we fear that we may lose our separate identity. History tells us that when followers of different groups start fighting over petty matters, then somebody arrives, who loves people of all these groups and provides teachings which are beneficial to all of them. For some years, this is really effective. But, after that, his teachings are given a separate name and thus one new group (or sect) is born.
  14. Diversity is quite natural in any religion over a long period of time. Somebody might claim that Hinduism is not a very old religion, because earlier the religion was "Sanatan Dharma". But, whatever name we use, the Hindus of today give importance to the scriptures and rituals followed by the followers of Sanatan Dharma. So, if we are not particular about nomenclature, then it is a very old religion. Consider Islam. It is true that there is not as much diverisity in it as in Hinduism. But if you talk to many muslims, you will find that some of them are extremely particular about following everything mentioned in qurans and hadiths and some are very liberal. But there are very few liberals among those who are considered as authorities on Islam. But, over time, it is possible that there will be more liberals among them.
  15. In the story posted by jndas ji, the person does not do correct pronunciation of the name of Lord Rama. I would not say that he did wrong pronunciation. In fact, he did not want to call the name of Lord Rama. He used a word which is not considered as good, but the end of this word sounded like "Rama". I do not think that the authors of Puranas wanted readers to think that the stories written in them had really happened. Very often stories are told to teach some morale. It is not the intention of the story teller to expect his listeners to think that the incidents mentioned in the story really took place. The intention is just to teach the morale. Consider the stories in Panctantra. Do we really think that they explain real life incidents? But it also does not mean that all the stories must be fictitious. In any Purana, one person tells some story. Some character in that story tells another story. Sometimes the chain is quite long. It is possible that the incidents mentioned really happened upto a certain link in the chain. The stories written after than link are meant for us to learn something. Also, many verses seem to have been written for poetic beauty. Very often poets write things which they do not mean to be taken literally. In poetries of Kalidasa, he has picturised somebody talking to clouds, wind etc. Did Kalidasa really want the readers to think that it is possible to talk to cloud and wind? No. He wrote these things to explain somebody's feelings. When Kalidasa wrote things to add poetic beauty in his writings and not to be taken literally, why can't it be true with the authors of ancient scriptures? Modern day poets also do this.
  16. It is fascinating in a ghastly sort of way, to see one's body just start to rot right off oneself. But I feel very sad thinking that one day this would happen to me. I don't understand how you find this fascinating. [This message has been edited by animesh (edited 07-25-2001).]
  17. jnda ji, Sorry for taking the thread further off-topic , but I just wanted to ask one question. When I hear the mantra "Hare Krsna hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna hare hare Hare Rama hare Rama, Rama Rama hare hare", then I find that 'Rama' is pronounced as 'Raamaa'. Isn't 'Raam' the correct pronunciation? The same question can be asked regarding the pronunciation of 'Krsna'.
  18. I have still to see why Krishna is better than Krsna. It is quite possible to pronounce 'Krishna' as 'Kryshna'. Also, it is quite natural to think that 'sh' should be pronounced as "talavya sh' instead of 'murdhanya' which is correct. Of course, one may claim that 's' can be pronounced as 'dantya sa' instead of 'murdhanya'. So, there is problem with 'Krsna' also. But that does not mean that 'Krishna' is better. I mostly (though not always) write 'Krsna' because I have seen it being used in many books. May be somebody else has seen 'Krishna' being used in most of books. I am not trying to say that just because many books use a spelling, it must be correct. But, unless, I find an explanation as to why it is worse than an alternate spelling, I don't think I should stop using it.
  19. Lots of experiments over the years have shown that genetics is responsible. So, we can not just rule that out. Now the question is regarding "soul". One very easy answer will be "soul has nothing to do with all these". Now the question is "Is it possible that both soul and genetics are involved in this?" Well, it is quite possible. I do not find why these should be mutually exclusive.
  20. Interesting topic :-) Let me think on this. Hmmm Hmmm
  21. I never said that "Krsna" is preferable. You pointed out some problems in "Krsna". So, I pointed out some problems in "Krishna". We find that there are problems in both. I use both "Krishna" and "Krsna". Similarly, I use both "rishi" and "rsi".
  22. Talasiga ji, You seem to be under impression that many people in this forum are trying to denigrate Sanskrit. But, I disagree. The spellings which are objecting to are used not only in this forum, but in many English versions of scriptures. Even the spelling "Krsna" is used by many publications. You may say that all those are trying to denigrate Sanskrit. You have written that "Krishna" is better than "Krsna". May I ask why? When one writes "Krishna", then it is quite possible for one to think that the pronunciation "ee" here is as in "muni", but in reality, it is as in "rishi". The two are different. Also, I consider usgae of "s" better than "sh" when mentioning "Krsna".
  23. Maitreya ji: I can find something to respect in them as they are searching for knowledge.But their approach is ackward and limited.Better to hear from the self realized. What do you think should be the correct approach. Just now one question came to my mind. I can think of two meanings of the term "self realized": - 1. Who has realized his "self". 2. Who has realized the truth oneself. Which of these two is true or, is there some third meaning? Maitreya ji: To remain forever undecided is to remain forever in ignorance. I disagree. Let us assume that I make a statement. Then I say that I am fully convinced that the statement is correct and nothing can make me disbelieve in it. Will I be praiseworthy? Maitreya ji: Do you deny that knowledge can actually be realized? I accept that knowledge can be realized. But I do not believe that a day will come when there will be nothing more to know. At least, I can not foresee that day. Imagine that there is a statue whose one half is made of gold and the other half is made of silver. I am facing the half which is made of gold. It is quite possible for me to think that the whole statue is made of gold. If I say that the whole statue is made of gold, then it will not be true. But, if fortunately, the possibility that the other half may not be made of gold enters into my mind, then I will say, "The part of statue that I am facing is made of gold." This statement will be true, but it is not complete knowledge, because I still do not know what the other half is made of. But why do you give more weight to the mundane scientist?They have no proof to offer.Why not be at least as sceptical towards them? Scientists do give more proof of their statements than spiritualists. But I will not consider this as a proof of falsehood of the statements made by spiritualists, because the knowledge related to spirituality can not, to a large extent be realized in the material world. If a statement is not falsifiable, then, according to Karl Popper, it is not scientific. But, it does not mean that it is wrong. As I wrote above, scientists do give proofs. But, I accept that these proofs are not conclusive. So, it is possible that some day, a theory will be proposed which will be better than current theory. So, one should definitely be sceptical towards scientific theories. But, according to the same logic, one should be sceptical towards spiritualists too. So, it is a matter of personal choice whom one believes. If a statement can neither be proved nor be disproved, then it is possible for it to be true. But then, it is possible for it to be false.
  24. I find the idea of soul very strange. But, strangeness of an idea is not the proof of its falsehood. After all, scientists believe in many things which I find as far stranger than the idea of soul. Let me write down just a few of them: - 1. The mass of a particle can be negative 2. The mass of a particle can be imaginary 3. The number of space dimensions can be more than three There are many more. Any scientific theory is a model. One model can resemble reality closer than another model, but it is not the same as reality itself. In mathematics, we come across terms like “under-determined problem”, “over-determined problem, and exactly-determined problem”. In under-determined problem, the amount of information is not sufficient to find out the values of all the unknowns in which we are interested. In over-determined problem, the amount of information is more than required; whatever solution we think of will satisfy a part of the information but contradict the remaining part and, therefore, we try to find out the best possible solution. In exactly determined problem, the information is just sufficient to allow us to get a unique solution. If we try to know anything about the physical world, then, strictly speaking, the problem is under-determined, because the no. of factors that can affect the solution is enormous. But the problem is turned into an exactly determined and, sometimes, even over-determined by making lots of simplifying assumptions. Sometimes scientists make some assumptions knowing fully well that the assumptions are wrong, because they know that the error they will get because of those assumptions will be negligible for that purpose. As an example, in kinetic theory of gases, molecules are treated as elastic spheres, but this assumption is not made in Quantum Mechanics. Sometimes, it is not known that the assumptions are wrong. In future, a newer theory is developed which shows the limitations of the earlier theory and, then only, it is realized that some wrong assumptions had been made in the earlier theory. Any theory is developed on some premises (or axioms) which are not proven by the theory but are assumed by it. These premises may be proved by some other theories, but then, those theories are themselves based on some premises. Einstein’s special theory of relativity is based on two postulates, viz., the homogeneity of space and time, and the speed of light in vacuum being independent of the frame of reference. These two postulates are not proved by the theory; rather these are foundation pillars of the theory. The details of a theory can never be truer than the premises on which it is developed. So, we must keep in mind that any theory is a model to reality and not the reality itself. So, it is not correct for scientists to laugh over an idea just because it does not conform with the model in which they believe. But, at the same time, it is not correct for those who are fully convinced of the infallibility of some scriptures to expect scientists to agree with them. Just because they are convinced that their way of thinking is correct does not mean that everybody should agree with them. If people of a particular faith expect scientists to accept the truth of their faith, then don’t people of other faiths have right to expect scientists to believe in their faiths? Once, in this forum, jndas ji posted the contents of an email sent by Rev. Ron (I forgot his complete name) to him. In the email, Rev. Ron had written that Jesus was the only true God and that Krishna was not God; therefore, those who believed that Krishna was God were doomed. Many participants on this forum (including myself) protested against the contents of the email. A few protested against jndas ji making the content public. Jndas ji wrote that he was against Rev. Ron way of thinking that everybody should blindly accept what he was saying. I agreed. But wasn’t Rev. Ron convinced that his way of thinking was correct? Of course, he was. Even then, if it was wrong on his part to expect everyone to agree with him, then why is it correct on the part of some participants on this forum to expect scientists to agree with them? Very often scientists are called as materialists. I agree that they want material happiness. But, it is wrong to think that laymen do not enjoy material happiness. They do not try to find out different means of material happiness as much as scientists try, but they do enjoy material happiness. Even those who call scientists as materialists enjoy material happiness (All the participants on this forum are enjoying the benefits of Internet which is a marvel of technology). Some people claim that material happiness is not important because this world is not our true home. But we do have material needs so long we are living in this world. And, I do not believe that scientists are always after material pleasure. More than the desire for material pleasure, it is the curiosity that drives them. Curiosity is important for gaining any kind of knowledge including knowledge related to spirituality.
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